Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular ReviewMini

Vortex 8 x 32 Recce Pro HD Monoculars
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Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Monoculars       

Ideal Uses:

General Use Rating for General Use Binoculars
Birdwatching Rating as Birdwatching Binoculars
Outdoor Sports Rating asOutdoor Sports Binoculars
Safari & Travel Rating as Safari Binoculars
General Wildlife Rating as Wildlife Observation Binoculars
Hunting Rating as Hunting Binoculars
Marine Use Rating as Marine Binoculars
Astronomy Rating as Binoculars for Astronomy

Please Note: This is a "BBR ReviewMini" of the Vortex Recce Pro HD 8x32 Monoculars. About BBR Mini Reviews

Designed to meet and indeed exceed the expectations of even the most discerning hunter, the 8x32 Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular combines some excellent and innovative features with a tough, lightweight, take anywhere exterior that protects a high-end HD quality optical system.

This combined with a competitive price tag that we have come to expect from Vortex Optics and after reviewing the Recce Pro HD, I had no hesitation in selecting it as my recommendation as to being the Best Monocular For Hunting currently on the market.

Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular Review

Main Points:

  • Mid to High Level - approx $299
  • Optics
    • 8x32 Configuration
    • MRAD Milling Reticle
    • XR™ Fully Multi-Coated
    • High Definition ED Glass Lens
  • Optical Stats
    • 14.2mm of Eye Relief
    • Very Wide FOV: 400ft @ 1000 yards
    • Angle of View: 7.6 °
    • Close Focus Distance: 5ft
  • Body Features
    • Lightweight & Compact
    • Integrated Carry Clip
    • Water & Fogproof (Argon Purged)
    • Large Focus Wheel
    • Diopter Adjuster
    • Fold Down-up Eyecups
    • Weight: 11oz
    • Dimensions: 6.8x2in
  • Accessories & Warranty Info
  • Ideal Uses

Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular 8x32

The Optics

As the name eludes to, the objective lens on this Vortex Recce HD monocular uses what Vortex describe as an HD optical system.

ED Glass
The main feature of this HD system is an element within the lens is made from a special extra-low dispersion glass (ED glass), it means that they are potentially able to better direct the individual wavelengths of light and reduce certain aberrations to produce higher-definition images with less color fringing around the edges of objects.

Optical coatings on the Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular 8x32

Optical Coatings

Anti-Reflection Coatings
Lens CoatingsThe Vortex Recce Pro HD 8x32 Monocular is Fully Multi-Coated using their proprietary XR™ coatings, which they also use on their flagship binoculars. This means that all lens surfaces throughout the optical pathway have been treated and results in an increase in light transmission and less unwanted reflections for an improved quality and brighter view.

I can't vouch for the XR coatings themselves and say whether they are better than those used by another brand, but what I can say is that fully multi-coated devices show a noticeable improvement when compared to lower quality optics that are only multi-coated (only some lenses are treated not all) or single layer coated.

This is certainly something to look for when choosing binoculars (or monoculars!) as the level of these coatings has a huge say in determining the final image quality and brightness. More info here: Anti-Reflection Lens Coatings.

It is great to see that Vortex has also used the same extremely hard and durable ArmorTek® coating on the exterior lens surfaces as which they use on their top spec binoculars. This protects them from scratches, oil (often from fingerprints), and dirt.

This means that the lenses require cleaning less often and then when you do need to clean them, you don't have to apply as much force to remove any marks, which in conjunction with the scratch resistant properties ensure the lens surface remains in pristine condition.

MRAD Milling Reticle on the Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular 8x32

MRAD Milling Reticle

The Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular has a MRAD (MIll / Milliradian) based reticle that also includes a number of silhouettes in a heads-up display in your view. This means that means instead of always having to make calculations, you can use the silhouettes to more quickly asses the range or size of an object.

For more details on this reticle, take a look at them on my page about Vortex Rangefinders.

Mrad Ranging reticle with silhouettes

Optical Stats

8x magnification
I know that there will be many, especially within the hunting community that will be disappointed that the magnification is a relatively moderate 8x as many prefer to use a 10x, 12x or even higher powered binocular. However, I think that this is intentional and that Vortex Optics has been smart here:

Wide Field Of View (FOV)
You see whilst this monocular may not give you quite the same level of image detail at longer distances than a higher power one would, in return you get a wider field of view (FOV).

And oh boy, what a wide view you get! At 400 feet wide at 1000 yards, the FOV on the Vortex Recce Pro HD 8x32 Monocular is extremely wide.

This extremely wide view offers up two advantages here that are relevant. Firstly it makes it easier to locate and then follow and keep any moving objects in view, which in turn makes them easier to mark and range using the reticle.

Secondly, a wide view is great for scanning wide open spaces when looking for potential objects and animals of interest.

To demonstrate just how wide the view is, compare it to a selection of 8x binoculars that I have reviewed:

Close Focus
At 5 feet the close focus on this monocular is also seriously impressive. Although I am not sure how many users of this device will need this feature.

Armortek coatings on the 32mm lens of the Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular

32mm Objective Lens

Binoculars with 32mm lenses are considered to be mid-sized. However because the body is so small, this monocular, whilst not tiny is still what I would class as being compact.

So whilst this comparatively small size lens is instrumental in maintaining an overall small size and low weight, the downside is that it does not have the same light gathering potential as that of a larger lens.

The use of high-specification optical glass and coatings help as it ensures that the Vortex Recce Pro HD monocular has a very high light transmission level.

During the day and in normal to average light conditions, the 8x32mm configuration is more than adequate as it produces a 4mm exit pupil which means that your eyes will be receiving more than enough light for you to perceive a bright, high-quality image.

In very low light conditions, when the pupils in your eyes have dilated to a size greater than 7mm, there is no doubt that this or indeed any other similarly sized monocular will not be the ideal choice and that is one of the compromises you just have to accept when opting for a small-sized optical device.

Having said that, you will still be able to use them and the high-end objects make certain these will still perform better than a lower quality monocular in the same size class. It just means the image will not seem as bright as if you were to compare the view of these against equal quality and powered monoculars with larger lenses.

Large Focus Wheel on the 8x32 Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular

The Body

Size & Weight
As a monocular is basically half a binocular and as such is roughly about half the weight and size of an equivalent binocular. So with 32mm lenses, the Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular is about the size and weight of an equivalent mid-sized binocular, which I would already consider to be fairly compact and lightweight and so it makes this instrument super easy to carry about wherever you go.

Measuring only 2 inches (5cm) wide, 6.18 inches (16cm) long and weighing only 213g, there is no denying that the Recce Pro HD is both small and lightweight.

However, the ease of transport and carrying goes even further than this with the inclusion of a carry clip:

Utility Clip on the 8x32 Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular

Integrated Carry Clip

carrying the 8x32 Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular using the Utility ClipAn innovation which I really like on the Vortex Recce monocular is the inclusion of a utility carry clip that is fixed onto the side of the body and is something that I am seeing on more and more monoculars and for good reason too:

Whilst it makes sense to hang a pair of binoculars around your neck, it does sometimes feel a little awkward when you do it with a monocular. The other option and what you get on most monoculars is a hand strap, which works fine, but it does mean that the hand that you are carrying it from is never a fee as you would like.

The other option I often use is to store my monocular in my backpack when not in use. This is great for freeing up my hands to carry other gear, but it does mean that it is not as accessible and as easy to get to as I would like.

This carry clip on the 8x32 Vortex monocular makes it possible to simply hand it from your belt, your webbing, pocket edges, a camera or rifle strap or even the outside of your backpack where it is completely out of the way, but still very easy and quick to get to when needed.

Eye-Cup & Eye-Relief

Eyecup on the 8x32 Vortex Recce Pro HD MonocularUnlike their binoculars which most have twist-up eyecups, Vortex has opted to use a more simple fold-down rubber eye-cup on the Recce Pro HD.

Rubber cups like these can feel more comfortable against the face, but In terms of functionality, it is not as easy to customize the amount that your eyes sit behind the ocular lenses if you need to. This is because the only settings you have are maximum (unfolded) and minimum (folded down).

However, at only 14.5mm, the amount of eye-relief that this offer is not massive and so there is not much to play with anyway. For the majority of users, this will not at all be an issue as you will just use the monocular as normal.

This means that if you need to or want to wear glasses or some kind of eye protection, which many target shooters do, this is not ideal as 16mm of eye-relief is usually the minimum required to ensure that you can still achieve the full field of view.

What I do like is that they have shaped the cup so that it effectively creates a side shield. Similar in shape as the eye-cups used on the best Steiner binoculars, like the excellent long-range Steiner HX 15x56 Hunting Binoculars.

This style of cup does an excellent job of fitting better to the shape of your face around the sides of your eye and the result being that you get less light entering from the side which is not only less distracting, but when the sun is at certain positions, it makes for a better view as you don't get light coming in from the side and reflecting off of the ocular lens.

Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular in its carry pouch

Included Accessories:

Protective Pouch
The Vortex Recce Pro Monoculars is supplied with a Khaki colored pouch. Made to the MOLLE standard, it is designed to work with and is compatible with PALS webbing, be that on your belt or backpack.

As simple flip over lid that is held closed with a strip of Velcro is secure enough, but you do need to be careful when using it when trying to remain silent and out of earshot of your quarry.

In these cases, I would definitely recommend taking it out of the pouch beforehand and using the utility carry clip instead.

Lens Cover on the 8x32 Vortex Recce Pro HD MonocularLens Covers
It is excellent that this monocular comes with a cover for both the objective and ocular lenses. What is more, these are both tethered to the body and so you won't misplace them and they are always handy and easy to replace as soon as you finish glassing.

This offers maximum protection to your optics, not only from scratching and the like but just makes certain that they remain as clean as possible.

Warranty Information

The Recce Pro HD comes with the Vortex VIP warranty as standard which states that "in the event, your monocular becomes damaged or defective, Vortex Optics will repair or replace the monocular at no charge to you".

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Ideal Uses:

With its heads-up reticle display, there is no question that the Vortex Recce Pro HD monocular has been designed with hunters and hunting in mind, indeed I have it listed as the Best Monocular For Hunting for this year, however, I do feel that it is far more versatile than this:

Target Shooting
Whilst it is most common to use a spotting scope at a target range, sometimes you want or need something more compact and easy to carry. So here a spotter or even yourself can at use this Vortex monocular and the reticle to get accurate information to make adjustment s to your shot, be that with a rifle, gun or bow.

Security / Search & Rescue
The Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular will most certainly be a good choice for many security and search and rescue applications, especially where a minimal weight and size is a necessity. For use at night this would not be ideal, but during the day yes, for sure as the wide field of view makes scanning wide areas searching for someone or something much easier.

Marine Use
Here again, the milling reticle is important and a feature on many of the best marine binoculars as it helps you to work out distances when out on the open water. For More: Reticle Rangefinders on Marine Binoculars.

What is more, because the monocular is o-ring sealed and filled with dry Argon gas which ensures that is is both 100% waterproof and fogproof, which for use in a watery environment is obviously a must.

What is more, the relatively moderate 8x power makes it easier to keep the image still and shake free which when using a binocular or monocular on an unstable platform like a boat on rough or even choppy water is super important. This is the main reason why most binoculars specifically made for marine use a 7x power and so whilst this is not quite as low as that, at 8x it should still be manageable in most conditions.

Whilst I would not suggest it as the primary use and if you can get past the reticle in the display, the fantastically wide field of view and great quality optics would make these a good option if you occasionally like to go out birding and wanted a small, compact device to take a long.

Holding the 8x32 Vortex Recce Pro HD Monocular

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Main Specifications & Features:

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Vortex 8x32 Recce Pro HD Monoculars Video Review

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More Information:

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Mid Size Binoculars | Roof Prism Binoculars | Close-Focus Binoculars | Wide Angle Binoculars | Mid Price Binoculars

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General Price Range: (3/6) Mid Price Monoculars

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BBRMini Reviews?

What this means is that this Vortex Recce Pro HD 8x32 Monoculars review is al little shorter and not the usual super in-depth hands-on type of review that you may be used to seeing here on BBR.

This is because I have not had any hands-on time with the product and thus I have not been able to comment on aspects like the build quality or that of the view quality where it would require me to actually handle and use them.

Instead, I have used my experience to form some basic and logical opinions based on research as well as the stated specifications and features supplied my the manufacturers.

Why Are you Making Them?
The main reason for me providing this mini listing is to get these Monoculars added into my database so that we can then compare their stats and features against all the other binoculars on the BBR website that I have fully hands-on tested and reviewed.

Despite this not being a 100% review, I hope that you still find it both interesting and the information and my opinions useful in your search. As always any comments and feedback is always welcomed.

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